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I just found out that someone has bought the house and put it on sale for 900 thousand. If that house gets 900 thousand I’m going to be very sorry, because there’s no way that house is worth that much. The house had five rooms, maybe 1,900 square feet or so, and just a backyard of dirt. That became the house where four or five grad students stayed, and because there was a concentration of grad students, the parties would always migrate there. It always gave people someplace to go when they didn’t want to go home.
We always had people bouncing around the house for one reason or another. Some people have a hard time living in a house with a lot of other people, so there will always be some turnover. I can honestly say I’ve lived with a fair fraction of the field.
The first thing that happened when I got to LPL was the graduate students all took me in. They were very protective and sharing and open with one another, and they formed a gang. Typically we would do a lot of things together, especially as I continued on, but even right away they took me under their wing. Individuals would ask me out for lunch. The interesting thing was they had a map of the world up on the wall, and they told me to stick in a pin in the place that I called home.
I said, “Is this where I’m born?”
They said, “No, the place you call home.” So I stuck it right in Tasmania, which is the area in Australia that I spent most of my time, and I’m still very fond of. There were pins from all over the world. That made it easy too.
For a while we were having dinners in the evening on a regular basis, mid-week—I forget what day—when we might have the inhabitants of Hawthorne House and then another three or four outside people would also come. Or we would just spontaneously say, “Oh, let’s make spaghetti this evening” and then we’d all head over there on a Saturday evening.
There was always something going on. Sometimes it was just a couple people watching TV, drinking a beer in the evening. It was a great place to be social. It was always a mess, as you can imagine, with five graduate students living there. No one was ever sure who was supposed to wash the dishes or clean the floor or anything. Some people kind of recoiled when they came in the door. We got used to it.
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Department of Planetary Sciences
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
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